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Managing Your Own Neuropathy TreatmenT

The following article is part of on-going series on how to be a better champion of your own care and treatment for neuropathy as featured in Neuropathy News. Over the next several months, we will explore how to navigate medical discussions, insurance claims, and other issues impacting your day-to-day management of your illness.


Part III:   NAVIGATING THE SEAS OF SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY and neuropathy

It is a difficult, time consuming and often frustrating process to apply for Social Security Disability.  It is important to learn everything you can about the benefit approval system to better your chances of approval.  Websites can offer great ides, as you will see at:

http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/
www.ssa.gov/disability
www.ssa.gov/disability/disability_starter_kits.htm

For most disability claims, you must prove you cannot do any substantial gainful work activity because of one or more physical or mental medical problems, and this must be backed up with clear medical evidence.  This serious disability must last for at least 12 continuous months.  You can file a claim before you have been disabled for 12 months, but you must be able to prove that your disability is certain to last that long in order to qualify.

You must have hard medical evidence of some physical or mental problem (or a combination of problems that keeps you from working).  It is very important to be under regular medical care at all times.  Social Security must rely on medical information from a doctor, hospital or clinic to measure how severe your condition is.  There must be a clear medical explanation of your disability.  Social Security will also look at your age, education and past work experience like any skills you have learned at jobs you have done our the last 15 years.

There are several kinds of disability benefits, and you can be entitled to one or more.

Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB)
You are eligible only if you have paid a certain amount of Social Security tax over a period of time, enough to have disability insurance in force.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI can be paid whether or not a person has paid enough Social Security tax to get disability benefits.  You must be disabled under the same rules.  You must have very little income or property.

Disabled Widow/Widower Benefits (DWB)
This is based on the SS tax paid by the deceased spouse.  You must be between 50 and 60 years old, have been married for 10 years and have proof of your disability.

Articles on this can be obtained from The Neuropathy Association by contacting status@neuropathy.org or calling 212-692-0662.

More Helpful Pain Information
In the last installment there were some recommendations regarding coping with pain…here are some more!  Those of us living with chronic pain have several resources to use to help alleviate the pain.  It is important to discuss your pain with your neurologist or seek help at a pain clinic, where the affiliated doctors specialize in dealing with pain.

Another idea—exercise!  Several articles from http://www.mayoclinic.com/ indicate that both water and land exercise can help to relieve pain.  Since water supports your weight, the impact on bones and joints is minimal.  Water offers resistance to help strengthen muscles.  Inactivity causes muscles, including your heart, to lose strength.  Speak to your doctor about these programs.

 

    Part I:     Becoming Your Own Best Neuropathy Advocate

    Part II:    Improving Your “Deficits” to Make Life a Little Easier

    Part IV:   Understanding Your Medications

    Part V:    The Value of Occupational Therapy and Assistive Devices

    Part VI:   Benefiting From Support Groups

 

More Living with Neuropathy:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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